I had a bad dream last night-a nightmare, In fact. This dream had to do with a trail run and the difficulty experienced, especially at the beginning of this run. For example, one part of the dream had to do with my starting off while being in the water. The water, somehow, was supposed to be about waist high but in the dream, it was up to my chin and I was afraid that I might drown. I quickly was able, somehow, to get out of the water. In another dream sequence, I had to enter and leave through this weird shaped building before I could begin my run. There was a door leading into the building, but, once inside, I had difficulty finding and opening any door to leave -I was stuck inside and unable to begin my run. These two memories stand out while the others have simply faded away. Needless to say, this dream was very disturbing.
The dream suggests my anxiety in running the second day [Sunday -from Forest Hill to White Oak Flat -about 20 miles] of the Western States training run during the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. I have taken part in Western States training runs over the past 13 years or so. All told, these three day training runs total about 75 miles of the 100 mile one day event.
Some background that explains my concern about this year’s run. During the past few years, the daily temperature has warmed up considerably on those particular Sunday’s. Possibly, not having any significant heat training prior, resulted in my having an extremely tough time for the last 5 miles or so, especially last year. I became tired, dehydrated and had difficulty speaking as I lost my voice. After rest, of course, my voice came back normally. And, this year I haven’t had heat training. Also, I know from previous running experiences, that I don’t do well with high temperatures.
Further, my trail runs this year have been very different. On January 1, I ran this particular 10 mile trail run [Resolution Run] for the fourth or fifth time in a row. And for the last 2-3 years, my trail time has been pretty consistent. This year’s 10 mile event was a little different in that it had an extended uphill loop. Possibly that explained running this event slower compared to the past two years.
After running that January 1 event, I read about sodium bicarbonate and begin using that in preparation for my 50 K in February-I’ve competed in the Jed Smith event for the past 12 or 13 years as well. Well, I’m unhappy to report, that I became extremely tired after 25 miles or so, during the event and essentially walked to the finish. I felt terrible and my running time was the slowest ever for this Jed Smith event. I attributed my difficulty to possible irregular training, and especially the sodium bicarbonate.
Then, I began preparing for a 50 K Way Too Cool in March-which I’ve done for the past 12 or 13 years. During my February training, I experienced some difficulties with irritation in my groin area. I went to the Monster of Massage, for treatment, and he assured me that I would be fine for my race. I even consulted a medical doctor to get his opinion. He told me to rest and take Aleve until the day of the event. During that 50 K I was cognizant and continued to evaluate my physical condition during my event-I was okay. However, at about 18 miles or so, I started to cramp. My friend Randall joined me on the trail and we headed toward the finish. I did some slow running and walking for the next 7 miles or so and then climbed up the very steep Goat Hill. After leaving the aid station at Goat Hill, I cramped so bad that I went to the ground with a whole lot of tightness and spasms. Randall massaged my cramping leg, and I was then able to stand and continued toward the finish with a lot of walking. My Way Too Cool trail time on that miserable day was by far my slowest for that event.
I must say that March and April have not been terrific running months for me. Last Saturday, I ran an extremely difficult and tough 10 mile Coloma River trail run-I’ve done this one for last four years. During the run, I felt terrific. This was a marked improvement over my 50 K experiences in February and March. Nothing was bothering me that day and the temperature was terrific for running. It was like there was a heavy burden lifted off my shoulders. I was surprised that my time was slower compared to the past two years. So, initially I felt terrific during and after the run. When I compared my time to the previous year, I was both surprised and disappointed. So far I’ve been consistently slower this year compared to previous years-this just might be my reality.
Well, it makes perfect sense to me that I have concerns regarding my next run. That bad dream brought my anxiety into my reality. I’ll keep you posted as to how the actual run turned out.
Tony had a difficult time on his recent 50 K. He’s taken some time off and we’ll see how it turns out, for him this Sunday as well.